International consultant to support the Ministry of Education and Sports in the Mid Term Review of the current National Education Strategy 2021-2026

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NAT
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  • Contract
  • Tirana

UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund


UNICEF Albania office is hiring an international consultant to support the Ministry of Education and Sports in the Mid Term Review of the current National Education Strategy 2021-2026

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential. 

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. 

And we never give up. 

For every child, Quality Education 

Over the past two decades, UNICEF Albania has been a steadfast partner to the Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES), offering support in the revision, development, and execution of various educational strategies. Currently, UNICEF continues to assist MOES in implementing the comprehensive 2021-2026 National Education Strategy (NES). This strategy operates under the framework of lifelong learning, encompassing all educational stages from preschool to university and beyond, and embracing both formal and informal learning avenues. The NES 2021-2026 envisions an education system in Albania grounded in principles of equality and lifelong learning, aimed at providing quality education to all individuals. Such education not only enhances personal well-being but also strengthens democracy and facilitates the country’s integration into the European Union.

The implementation of the NES spans the years 2021 to 2026, with primary responsibility resting with MOES as the leading educational institution. Action plans delineate specific responsibilities for implementation, which are shared among MOES, its subordinate institutions, educational entities, local governments, and other stakeholders.

Throughout the strategy’s lifespan, the Government of Albania has devoted significant efforts to enhancing the quality and inclusiveness of the education system. The NES has served as a catalyst for a multitude of policies and implementation practices, including reforms in inclusive education, digitalization, curriculum development, teacher training, preschool education, and governance. Regular monitoring and reporting mechanisms have been established, with progress evaluations conducted every six months.

The development of the National Education Strategy unfolded against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and since then rapid reforms and advancements in the education sector have taken place. To evaluate progress vis-à-vis the benchmarks set forth in the education strategy three years ago, a mid-term review will be conducted. 

After two years and a half from the kickoff of the current strategy, the MOES intends to undertake a Mid-Term Review (MTR) aimed at assessing the challenges and advancements in implementing the strategy. The primary objective of this review is to evaluate the progress, achievements, and shortcomings regarding the core policy objectives outlined in the National Education Strategy (NES) as well as identify new areas which respond to emerging trends for Albania and beyond linked to the education sector.

The MTR of the NES aims to pinpoint challenges, discrepancies, and areas necessitating improvement, while also establishing priorities for the remaining implementation period. It endeavors to furnish recommendations geared towards enhancing the governance and efficacy of the education system, particularly in bolstering the sector’s capacity to enact and sustain reforms. This entails aligning Albanian educational priorities with the contemporary skills agenda of the 21st century, which emphasizes a diverse range of competencies essential for success in the realms of work, citizenship, and life. These include critical thinking, collaborative problem-solving, and adeptness in manipulating knowledge and information.

The timing of this review coincides with Albania’s ongoing accession efforts and the imminent release of the screening report for EU Chapter 26, both of which underscore the imperative to address new educational priorities in alignment with the pertinent EU acquis for Chapter 26. Moreover, the review aims to explore the incorporation of emerging trends such as climate change awareness, development of green skills, and the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, thereby charting future educational trajectories. Holistic development from 0-6 will also be analyzed as a missing piece of the current strategy.

Recognizing the need for a robust, transparent, and sector-relevant MTR process, MOES has solicited the support and technical expertise of UNICEF. The appointed international consultant will collaborate closely with MOES and utilize the monitoring documents crafted by the Ministry to ensure comprehensive and informed evaluations.

 

As a key partner in MOES’s strategic implementation, UNICEF will support MOES with technical assistance and support throughout the MTR process of the current NES. The consultancy’s overarching goal is to facilitate an exhaustive review of the NES, leveraging empirical methodologies and statistical evidence wherever feasible. The main objectives of the MTR include:

  • Facilitating MOES in conducting a comprehensive assessment of the progress, achievements, and shortcomings within specific realms of NES implementation by reviewing challenges and advancements in strategy execution.
  • Identifying emerging areas not encompassed within the strategy’s purview and ensuring their seamless integration into the revised strategy objectives.

How can you make a difference? 

The consultant will report to the Education Specialist in UNICEF office in Tirana, Albania. The deliverables for this assignment including specific tasks are clearly mentioned herein below:

Deliverable 1 (to be done from country of residence)

An analysis of the situation based on the desk review of the documents on the Albanian context and analysis of the main trends prepared and submitted to UNICEF and MOES. (The Consultant will also need to be familiar with GPE, UNESCO, UNICEF guidelines for Education Sector Analysis). Main studies, progress reports, financing flows and other documents will be provided from UNICEF and MOES); Full methodology of the mid-term review of the current NES developed and revised based on comments. 

Specific tasks for Deliverable 1:

  • Conduct a desk review of the documents on the Albanian context and conduct a comparative analysis and trend analysis for education.
  • Conduct 2 (or more if needed) online calls with UNICEF and MoES in Albania to get familiar with the situation and answer questions coming after desk review.

Timeline for Deliverable 1 – to be completed by end of May 2024

Deliverable 2: (in Albania and in the country of residence)

– Interviews conducted with relevant stakeholders in national and local level (and/or as part of methodology proposed); Prepare a PPP to present the format of the draft report and its outline (while in Albania); Prepare an initial draft of the Mid-Term Review to be shared with UNICEF and MOES including (i) MTR Report of NES, which will be a kind of situation analysis developed around NES and (ii) Revised/Updated NES with implementation plan and costing. (From country of residence)

Specific tasks for Deliverable 2: 

  • Conduct meetings with UNICEF, MoES and other important actors.
  • Conduct field work interviews and focus group discussions based on the work plan, and methodology developed.

Timeline for Deliverable 2: to be completed by beginning of September 2024

Deliverable 3: (from country of residence)

– Draft a final mid-term review report of the National Education Strategy endorsing the comments and suggestions from MOES/ UNICEF.

 
Specific tasks for deliverable 3
  • Prepare a final report (after consolidating the comments and feedback from UNICEF and MoES) and share the final document with UNICEF.
Timeline for Deliverable 3: to be completed by end of September 2024
 
Deliverable 4: 
 
– Mid-term Review presentation of the NES is introduced to the main stakeholders (during a mission in Albania)
 
Specific tasks for Deliverable 4:
  • Prepare PPPs and summaries for presentation to MOES, development partners, civil society and other actors (in advance of the mission).
  • Finalize the Mid Term Review of the final document based on feedback received.

Timeline for deliverable 4: to be completed within the period October-November 2024 

The consultant will provide the lumpsum offer and number of working days per each deliverable. He/She is requested to provide travel offer indicating how many international trips he/she will undertake to Albania to complete the assignment and also how many local trips will be needed. If any question, do not hesitate to contact Elvana Pernaska, HR at UNICEF Albania office at [email protected]

What to submit:

1. Letter of interest, summarizing the educational background, the working experience that is relevant to the assignment, and the specific role the candidate will play.

2. Proposed methodological approach as for deliverables set forth.

3. Updated CV or e-profile in the system

4. Financial proposal – The financial proposal will be submitted in USD and must include the consultancy fee per deliverable, the communication costs and all other individual expenses or applicable costs. The travel lump sum will be defined by the consultant in the financial offer in USD as per methodology proposed regarding travel and field work needed. The financial proposal must be broken down for deliverables, travel/ field work and total amount.

For every Child, you demonstrate… 

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS). 

To view our competency framework, please visit here. 

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment. 

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check. 

Remarks:  

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process. 

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws. 

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts. 

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